First time around Back Cove

Lately I’ve been trying to learn the ways of new town and get back into a decent pattern, but I didn’t really have any routes established. So when I heard about Back Cove from some other runners I met around town, I decided to look it up and see if I could get 10K out of it. A quick look at Google told me that I can, as long as I add some downtown running to the mix.

Checking out a Portland SunriseBack Cove is the round bit of ocean that Portland is guarding against the rest of the Atlantic. There’s a 3.6km trail that loops around, shares a bit of the bridge and then brings you back to wherever you started.

Getting there from my apartment was easy. Not only that, but it’s also easy for folks who don’t live downtown. There’s a small parking lot on the southern side of it. There’s not much around besides the trail, so it seems like you would only see runners parking there. And when you consider that lots of folks are just walking to the place from their Portland homes, I would hope that there are plenty of spaces for those who need them. But then, I’ve never seen a Portland summer…

My morning was pretty smooth. First I walked the dog, then I went out in the desperate hope that I wouldn’t get lost. Well… okay, I can’t really get lost when I’m carrying an iPhone with Google Maps installed, but I can wander off my route and add or subtract distance. I didn’t want to do loops around my apartment to make up time.

I went out with my standard early-winter gear. T-shirt and shorts, my space jacket, old gloves with a finger-hole for iPhone use, and a hat for my buzzed-up, heat-expelling head. It was just the right combination to keep me comfy after the first kilometer with a minimum of sweaty yuckiness at the end. I might rethink the lack of leggings, though. Afterward my legs and but were cherry red from the cold. Not good. But I digress. Here, check out this cool sunrise pick of my new town in Maine.

Portland, Maine at Sunrise

Took this one from the western side of Back Cove. Good stuff, right? Downtown Portland is still kind of small for a long route, but it’s not so tough when you add this trail. No cars to worry about, no hills or holes, and there are plenty of other runners to share a wave and a smile. It’s especially satisfying when I see another runner on a cold or wet day. It’s like we’re members of a Crazy Person club, and we just had a meeting.

The only snag was my Garmin’s poor battery. It’s been giving me battery warnings lately, and today it gave out after a few kilometers. I’m a little worried. Is it losing its ability to hold a charge, or is my old Macbook Pro just doing a poor job of charging it? Probably the latter, since those USB ports are an older generation. I’m going to plug that sucker into a wall today and see if that changes things.

But enough of my rambling. I have a full day ahead of me. Cara and I are going to check out a gluten free bakery, have a coffee at Arabica and go see the Hobbit. Yes, my precious… the film is released at last, precious, and we will see it, won’t we?